Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Cape Fear is the greatest movie of all time

Cape Fear. My 4th of July watch this year. I guess it is sort of a 4th movie. There are fireworks and a parade. One of three movies I remember my grandpa telling my dad not to let me watch as a child which I overheard and immediately sought out (the other two were The Fly [1986] and The Silence of the Lambs) and was definitely way too young to watch. This one made it on the list for the horrific rape and face biting scene that is indeed still fucking terrible to watch. One of those things I probably should have waited a couple of years.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Smart and stylish, Cape Fear is a gleefully mainstream shocker from Martin Scorsese, with a terrifying Robert De Niro peformance.

Gist of the flick is that ex-con, Max Cady played by Robert De Niro, goes on a vengeance tour against his former attorney, Sam Bowden played by Nick Nolte, who didn't disclose that the woman that Cady raped was promiscuous which would have gotten him off, apparently. Was thinking it must have been a different time but now rape is more or less acceptable again if you are a republican with any sort of power. Anyway, Cady loses his fucking mind and basically becomes the Terminator, he is pretty much video game character unstoppable, with the ultimate plan of raping Bowden and his family to death. Yeah, it's purty fucked up.

The cast is amazing. It is a Martin Scorsese movie after all. We have the lovely and talented Jessica Lange as Nick Nolte's wife (Leigh), Juliette Lewis as daughter Danielle in one of her more relatable roles, Illeana Douglas who is young and pretty and in a bunch of stuff but is mostly remembered for this role as being the girl who gets her face bitten off, and MST3K favorite Joe Don Baker of Mitchell fame. A remake of 1962 original which has a 100% fresh rating on RTs, the flick has cameos from the original cast members with Robert Mitchum (who was Cady in the old one) playing a cop, Gregory Peck who was in the Sam Bowden role now playing Cady's lawyer, and Martin Balsam--whom I remember as Arbogast in Psycho and Juror No. 1 in 12 Angry Men but don't recall seeing in the original (though I saw it 28 years ago)--plays a judge.

Remember it as a longer, more developed movie but it's basically just De Niro yucking it up. The Simpsons fans out there, and likely people who have a passing knowledge of the series, will recognize all the times they have sort of spoofed the film with Sideshow Bob basically taking on the role of Cady and Bart as the dude he obsesses over. Also get the great scene where the police strip search Cady and we see all of his creepy as fuck tattoos that have to do with vengeance, justice, revenge, so forth. De Niro is impressively jacked here, especially considering he is almost 50 when this was made.

The film is pretty hard to watch but is a super solid movie. It is brutal and disturbing. Not only is it incredibly violent, but Cady is nasty. Like after he has displayed that he is a true sociopath, he poses as a teacher before coming clean to who he really is and seduces Juliette Lewis's character who is a child. Luckily they don't fuck, which would have been waaayyyy too much, obviously. But De Niro does stick his thumb in her mouth which she sucks on... I almost puked.

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